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Vinyl Tubing Slugs


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#1 BiwinningPanda

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 02:18 PM

Hey guys, here is my new dart design. It is safer than an average Slug dart, slightly easier to make, and also performs equally.

Step One: Get your Vinyl Tubing (I believe this is 1/4")
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Cut it up into smaller pieces (I just eyeball the length, but 1/4" long should be about right.)

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Attach it to your felt tip. I personally fill the tube with glue so that it overflow a little, drop it into the foam, then put the felt pad on top; but this is not necessarily the best method.
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Let it dry and you are finished.
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The one thing I am looking to improve on this is a softer glue that hurts less than hot glue. Any suggestions?
Questions, flames, or claims that you did it first?

Edited by BiwinningPanda, 05 September 2012 - 02:24 PM.

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#2 Phree Agent

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 02:48 PM

What holds the dart head onto the blank? I am assuming a hole is drilled/burned into the blank to hold the tubing?
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#3 BiwinningPanda

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 02:50 PM

What holds the dart head onto the blank? I am assuming a hole is drilled/burned into the blank to hold the tubing?

Yep, a hole is burned into the blank like a normal Slug, just a bit deeper, and the hot glue the tube is filled with adheres to the hole in the blank.
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#4 Craftsman

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 03:01 PM

I have all the materials for this actually, I guess I'll try this and see how it goes.

I have other sizes of tubing as well, do you think these would benefit or worsen by a different size?
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#5 BiwinningPanda

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 03:05 PM

I have all the materials for this actually, I guess I'll try this and see how it goes.

I have other sizes of tubing as well, do you think these would benefit or worsen by a different size?

I'm not particularly sure. Unless there is a size barely larger than 1/4", most sizes probably wont fit. And anything smaller would likely be too light. It's worth messing with though to see what is just right.
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#6 andtheherois

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 03:12 PM

Vinyl tubing is already very light. I dont filling it with hot glue is going to make that much of a difference. You'd probably be better off using plastic BBs and hot glue if you want to make a metal free dart. I guess the hardest problem is finding a suitable replacement for metal washers that is just as easy to make, without having to go through a bunch of BS to build them.
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#7 BiwinningPanda

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 03:19 PM

Vinyl tubing is already very light. I dont filling it with hot glue is going to make that much of a difference. You'd probably be better off using plastic BBs and hot glue if you want to make a metal free dart. I guess the hardest problem is finding a suitable replacement for metal washers that is just as easy to make, without having to go through a bunch of BS to build them.

Based on the tests I have done, these shoot roughly the same as Slugs, but due to the huge storm I haven't had a chance accurately test yet. I totally agree with you though that we have not found a proper solution to metal free slugs, and I think that will be a long ways off.
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#8 Meaker VI

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 03:39 PM

Vinyl tubing is already very light. I dont filling it with hot glue is going to make that much of a difference.


While I'm sure Vinyl tubing is pretty light and possibly lighter than straight glue, I actually like this idea alot. Most of the reason I'd want to find an alternative to slugs is to find a dart that is more reliable to make, and this looks like it does that pretty well. You get a larger gluing area, no metal, and the glue is/can be contained in such a way that it isn't likely to burn through the foam.
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#9 BiwinningPanda

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 03:42 PM

While I'm sure Vinyl tubing is pretty light and possibly lighter than straight glue, I actually like this idea alot. Most of the reason I'd want to find an alternative to slugs is to find a dart that is more reliable to make, and this looks like it does that pretty well. You get a larger gluing area, no metal, and the glue is/can be contained in such a way that it isn't likely to burn through the foam.

You are correct that the glue is only exposed to the places that it needs to be, which is a plus. Thanks for the compliments!

Edit: Also, just holding a #6 washer in one hand and a hot-glue filled piece of tubing they seem to weigh about the same. I am actually kind of surprised at how light the washers are.

Edited by BiwinningPanda, 05 September 2012 - 04:09 PM.

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#10 cheerios

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 05:58 PM

You are correct that the glue is only exposed to the places that it needs to be, which is a plus. Thanks for the compliments!

Edit: Also, just holding a #6 washer in one hand and a hot-glue filled piece of tubing they seem to weigh about the same. I am actually kind of surprised at how light the washers are.


Do you happen to know how heavy these are in grams?
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#11 Draconis

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 06:34 PM

You are correct that the glue is only exposed to the places that it needs to be, which is a plus. Thanks for the compliments!

Edit: Also, just holding a #6 washer in one hand and a hot-glue filled piece of tubing they seem to weigh about the same. I am actually kind of surprised at how light the washers are.



You would never be able to accurately determine a difference in mass between the two. Flexible vinyl tubing has a maximum density of 1.35 g/cc, making it more dense than polyethylene. But there is so little material there... You might try 3/8" tube as well. As for adhesives, I would suggest one of the PVC or CPVC solvent welds. They will not bond any better than anything else to the polyethylene of the foam, but they will definitely weld to the tube and provide a malleable mating surface. Worth a shot at least.
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#12 BiwinningPanda

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 06:40 PM

I don't have a scale, but if anyone does I would really appreciate checking this. Like I said, just shooting outside, both these and regular slugs performed similarly. As long as these work as well as slugs, I don't see any reason to add more weight.
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#13 chavez guy

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 07:06 PM

Out of curiosity, could someone explain to me the need for metal free darts? I feel like I missed a discussion a while back, because all of a sudden there are "metal free dart" posts, and honestly I thought darts with metal were just fine, haha.
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#14 BiwinningPanda

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 07:17 PM

Out of curiosity, could someone explain to me the need for metal free darts? I feel like I missed a discussion a while back, because all of a sudden there are "metal free dart" posts, and honestly I thought darts with metal were just fine, haha.

I think so too, I am really just messing around with my ideas. Most of these are likely due to Kane's Pink foam giveaway.
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#15 JPRoth1980

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 10:37 PM

Out of curiosity, could someone explain to me the need for metal free darts? I feel like I missed a discussion a while back, because all of a sudden there are "metal free dart" posts, and honestly I thought darts with metal were just fine, haha.


In all honesty, the push for metal-free darts is largely based off of the pink foam giveaway for metal-free dart designs. While the people captaining that movement have their own arguments in support of their stance, for the average Nerfer, there's really no need to worry.

To whit, metal free slugs have the perception of being "safer" because, well, there's no metal, no matter how well-encapsulated and "safe" that metal is. Additionally, a lost metal-free dart doesn't turn, over the course of months or years, into a corroded metal washer that some idiot could step on (barefoot at a public park qualifies you as an idiot, mind you) and get tetanus and die from it.

There has also been mention of metal-free darts allowing slugs to be used in an office setting, in which case I have to say: REALLY? If your office "allows" NIC-style blasters to be used at all, you are in the vast minority of Nerfers in general.

The problem is, in my mind, slugs are pretty suboptimal to begin with, and most of the metal-free designs have been attempts to replicate them with worse materials. If the NIC really wants to pursue metal-free darts for whatever reason, I think we're going to have to go back to things that aren't quite so unaerodynamic.
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#16 Blue

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Posted 05 September 2012 - 10:58 PM

In all honesty, the push for metal-free darts is largely based off of the pink foam giveaway for metal-free dart designs. While the people captaining that movement have their own arguments in support of their stance, for the average Nerfer, there's really no need to worry.

To whit, metal free slugs have the perception of being "safer" because, well, there's no metal, no matter how well-encapsulated and "safe" that metal is. Additionally, a lost metal-free dart doesn't turn, over the course of months or years, into a corroded metal washer that some idiot could step on (barefoot at a public park qualifies you as an idiot, mind you) and get tetanus and die from it.

There has also been mention of metal-free darts allowing slugs to be used in an office setting, in which case I have to say: REALLY? If your office "allows" NIC-style blasters to be used at all, you are in the vast minority of Nerfers in general.

The problem is, in my mind, slugs are pretty suboptimal to begin with, and most of the metal-free designs have been attempts to replicate them with worse materials. If the NIC really wants to pursue metal-free darts for whatever reason, I think we're going to have to go back to things that aren't quite so unaerodynamic.


I don't really have anything to add, but this is one of the smartest posts I've read here in a long time.
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#17 KaneTheMediocre

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 07:45 PM

Out of curiosity, could someone explain to me the need for metal free darts? I feel like I missed a discussion a while back, because all of a sudden there are "metal free dart" posts, and honestly I thought darts with metal were just fine, haha.


In all honesty, the push for metal-free darts is largely based off of the pink foam giveaway for metal-free dart designs. While the people captaining that movement have their own arguments in support of their stance, for the average Nerfer, there's really no need to worry.

To whit, metal free slugs have the perception of being "safer" because, well, there's no metal, no matter how well-encapsulated and "safe" that metal is. Additionally, a lost metal-free dart doesn't turn, over the course of months or years, into a corroded metal washer that some idiot could step on (barefoot at a public park qualifies you as an idiot, mind you) and get tetanus and die from it.

There has also been mention of metal-free darts allowing slugs to be used in an office setting, in which case I have to say: REALLY? If your office "allows" NIC-style blasters to be used at all, you are in the vast minority of Nerfers in general.

The problem is, in my mind, slugs are pretty suboptimal to begin with, and most of the metal-free designs have been attempts to replicate them with worse materials. If the NIC really wants to pursue metal-free darts for whatever reason, I think we're going to have to go back to things that aren't quite so unaerodynamic.


The whole "metal free" goal is a strawman to actually safer darts. There's nothing special about iron or steel that's unsafe, the point is to avoid hard materials--which I take to include plastic, hot glue, and hard rubber. Sure those items aren't nearly as hard as iron, but they're plenty harder than the flesh that they're hitting.

Being metal free is not required in my contest, nor is it sufficient to qualify. Being hard-material free is required by my contest. A mixture containing metal dispersed as powder into a soft material or bound into a chemical compound that happens to be a soft would pass the hardness requirement. In both cases, there would be some benefit in density, and in the first case it might preserve magnet-on-stick functionality.

Slugs are suboptimal, but they are currently the only nerf dart design that works perfectly in a conventional wye hopper. So it's not a surprise that most of the designs attempt to recreate that, and most of them partially succeed. Also, the notion that darts should be aerodynamic is surprisingly controversial.

Edited by KaneTheMediocre, 14 September 2012 - 07:55 PM.

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#18 JPRoth1980

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Posted 14 September 2012 - 10:19 PM

The whole "metal free" goal is a strawman to actually safer darts. There's nothing special about iron or steel that's unsafe, the point is to avoid hard materials--which I take to include plastic, hot glue, and hard rubber. Sure those items aren't nearly as hard as iron, but they're plenty harder than the flesh that they're hitting.


This needs to be brought up again and again. Over the course of, well, no time, the message has been corrupted and "no metal" has become the obsession.

Slugs are suboptimal, but they are currently the only nerf dart design that works perfectly in a conventional wye hopper. So it's not a surprise that most of the designs attempt to recreate that, and most of them partially succeed. Also, the notion that darts should be aerodynamic is surprisingly controversial.


They currently work "perfectly" because other types of darts are nearly impossible to manufacture within the tolerances required. That said, the snapcap domes as presented by Taerkitty likewise work perfectly in a hopper--at least the handful I made have all worked perfectly--because they are likewise "perfect." However, since silicone/oogoo seems to be the material of choice in terms of metal-free darts, people are effectively making slugs that lack weight and, as such, are unacceptable for the NIC.

In truth, the point may be moot soon, assuming that the molded heads provided by informer are able to work in a hopper. But regardless of the situation, a "slug" minus the weight (or worse, with a weight that is slightly less dense than the hot glue it is displacing) serves no purpose aside from showing people how not to do things.
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#19 KaneTheMediocre

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 12:53 PM

Slugs are suboptimal, but they are currently the only nerf dart design that works perfectly in a conventional wye hopper. So it's not a surprise that most of the designs attempt to recreate that, and most of them partially succeed. Also, the notion that darts should be aerodynamic is surprisingly controversial.


They currently work "perfectly" because other types of darts are nearly impossible to manufacture within the tolerances required. That said, the snapcap domes as presented by Taerkitty likewise work perfectly in a hopper--at least the handful I made have all worked perfectly--because they are likewise "perfect." However, since silicone/oogoo seems to be the material of choice in terms of metal-free darts, people are effectively making slugs that lack weight and, as such, are unacceptable for the NIC.

In truth, the point may be moot soon, assuming that the molded heads provided by informer are able to work in a hopper. But regardless of the situation, a "slug" minus the weight (or worse, with a weight that is slightly less dense than the hot glue it is displacing) serves no purpose aside from showing people how not to do things.


Snap-caps and glue domes do fire perfectly out of a hoppers, not because of their weight or precision, but because they have a low-friction tip. However, they lack padding, and thus do not qualify as a "nerf" dart.

Silicone/oogoo darts can and have been made to the same and greater weight as a conventional slug (edit: >1.0g). Weight is not the problem.

I do hope that Informer's next batch of molded heads are able to work in a hopper, but my understanding is that they are a silicone rubber tip, which always have too much friction to work reliably in a hopper. Ryan tested some of his tips a couple years ago to confirm this, but Informer tips may have changed since then.

Edited by KaneTheMediocre, 15 September 2012 - 01:01 PM.

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#20 Carbon

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Posted 15 September 2012 - 02:42 PM

PROTIP: this thread is for discussion of BWP's vinyl tubing darts, NOT as a discussion of the relative merits of Slugs (which alternative dart threads seem too often to turn into). Less hijacking, please.

Edited by Carbon, 15 September 2012 - 02:42 PM.

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